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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old September 12th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #1
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One more thing that shows my loyalty

To all the sudden people on the Mini KI Pro bandwagon. I love AJA - they make great products. I was originally going to buy the KI Pro - would not even bat an eye at the Nanoflash. But they kept delaying their product. For months and months and months it was delayed. I bought a nanoflash. Then I bought another. The recording options available with the nanoflash are more flexible than the KI PRO mini - 220 kbps takes up a lot of space - and may be counter intitive for doc and ENG work. Also it looks heavier and probably consumes more power. Do not give up on your Nanoflash. Different tools for different projects.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 05:53 PM   #2
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Ed, I agree with you and followed a similar path in acquiring my nanoFlash. See the thread here:

It was seriously delayed and there was a lot of pre-release hype around the unit. Looked really nice but when it was released 1080p recording wasn't finished in the firmware and a bunch of features they claimed would be available on release weren't until the 1.1 firmware in February and then there were user reports of serious heat issues and the SxS recording wasn't full featured as the hard drive recording. Leave it at that.

Too bad the unit got off to a bad start and the pre sales hype deflated consumer confidence in those waiting during the pre-release period.

Anyway, I have discovered that a lot of the problems have been resolved in the original Ki Pro but we will have to wait for it to hit the marketplace and see how the Ki Pro Mini fares in the field. Meanwhile, Convergent Design may have a product around the corner with an upgrade path for existing customers that will retain them as the nanoFlash ecosystem matures. Have to see.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #3
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Ed, you know we could easily say the same thing about "unfinished" with the Flash XDR. Those of us who bought a Flash XDR, feel a little slighted since there are still, years later, features that were promised as future features but were never delivered.

Examples being, RS422 control, Firewire and uncompressed recording. The firmware updates for XDR have slowed to a crawl, I imagine that there's little financial incentive for CD to spend development and engineering dollars on a unit they don't sell anymore. I don't get upset about it and flame the company on Internet forums though, I just make a mental note and move on.

I've always said that I don't expect any more from my XDR than I got on day 1 of owning it. After all, that's all you can be certain will be delivered,... what's there when you buy it.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 10:32 AM   #4
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Dear Aaron,

I agree completely with you on full uncompressed recording.

We promised that and have not been able to deliver it yet.

While the Flash XDR was the smallest high image quality recorder when we introduced it, our customers were demanding that we make it small. Putting it differently, we met a lot of sales resistance due to the Flash XDR's size.

Thus, we designed and built the nanoFlash in order to meet our customers' demands. The demand on our staff to build the nanoFlash prevented us from devoting the time to would take to release full uncompressed.

And we had very few people who were ready to purchase this extra cost feature, but we did have two who expressed a serious interest in it.

We also have not delivered RS-422 control.

In a related development, we have just completed a project to allow the nanoFlash to be controlled remotely via its serial port. But, we have not ported this over to the Flash XDR yet.

Our Flash XDR firmware, to bring it up to the same level as the nanoFlash, is in quality control testing now.

The Firewire port is different.

Since 2008, we have never mentioned this in our brochures, or made promises that the Firewire port would be used. It is fair to say that some saw the Firewire port and assumed that we would support it.

There are multiple ways that the Firewire port may have been assumed to be used.

1. Firewire Output from the Flash XDR.

2. Firewire Input to the Flash XDR.

3. Firewire connectivity to a computer for transferring files.

Item 1 makes more sense than Items 2 or 3, but it really does not fit it the design of the Flash XDR.

For example, if one is using the Flash XDR to record high-quality files, why would one want to output a 25 Mbps highly compressed video stream over Firewire? To be fair, someone may have a need for this.

For Item 2, inputting already compressed, 25 Mbps, video stream over Firewire has little advantages.
Again, someone may know of a reason to do so.

For Item 3, our high-quality files can be large, and it is much easier and faster to take out the CompactFlash card and transfer the files to a computer via a CompactFlash card reader.

Dedicating a Flash XDR to do a very long transfer does not seem to be a good idea.
Dan Keaton
Augusta Georgia
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Old September 15th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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I completely understand the market forces Dan. No need to explain to me but thanks for doing so anyway. My post was really not meant to provoke a response from you regarding the unfinished nature of the XDR, but really to remind the nano users that us XDR users who came before them, feel a bit like early AJA Ki Pro users.
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Old September 15th, 2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Truer words...

Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
I've always said that I don't expect any more from my XDR than I got on day 1 of owning it. After all, that's all you can be certain will be delivered,... what's there when you buy it.
Truer words were never spoken.

Phillip Hodgetts once said the same thing to me... right after I got burned buying a Media 100 844/x editing system. $100,000.00 system cost. They sunsetted the product 1 month after I bought it. This was the system I was going to ride the SD-to-HD transition on... then it was "gone". No support, no upgrade... no nothing. I pissed, I moaned, I ranted on a stock analysts call that the parent company, Optibase, had after they dumped the product. (no kidding, got kicked off the call) I was an absolute stark, raving lunatic. And frankly, I didn't care who heard about it... or whom I burdened with it.

And then Phillip gave me the same wisdom Aaron said above. He was right... Aaron is right. In the final analysis, I made money with the system... lots of it. I made great pictures with it... lots of them. My clients were thrilled, my business moved to HD, albeit a few years later on a different system. Life is good.

So let's apply this to CD. Even though the XDR is not EVERYTHING that they promised, it is still a fabulous device. They still support it, albeit slower than the frontline product. You can still make money with it... lots of it. You can still make great pictures with it... lots of them.

The base level of technology and offerings from vendors is accelerating. Obsolescence is being measured in weeks and days, not months and years. You can't depend on the promise of future product development as a basis for your business. You have to pick your pony and ride it for all it's worth. Feature upgrades and enhancements should be viewed as a bonus, not a matter of life and death. Living in the land of "coulda, shoulda, woulda" will chew a big hole in your stomach and your business. Sorry... you just can't live there or make money there.

This is a cautionary tale for buyer AND seller. I feel badly for the people that bet the bank on the future of the XDR as I do for CD. Basically, XDR users will not be able to offer uncompressed services as they had hoped. But there are other solutions.. you should vote with your feet. Or as Chris Hurd said... "move on." On the other hand, CD has to take it's licks here too. They know they promised too far out in front of XDR product development. That kind of thing can... and will... cost you customers... and piss off a bunch more... and cause even more to doubt your good intentions. Maybe they should rethink that in favor of being a bit more circumspect about product development. Maybe they should only discuss the stuff that is absolutely going to make it into the next release... and give the standard "we're looking into it" for everything else. Maybe they can discuss everything in the open, like they do now... with BIG disclaimers. This is up to them.

I, for one, like CD, the people that work there and the one product of theirs I own, the nanoFlash. CD is the most open, helpful company I have ever dealt with. I certainly have a better relationship with them than I have ever had with any other company. I would hate to see that change... whether that is from them over-promising or me over-expecting.
FireDancer Productions, Inc.
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